Deone Bucannon

Bears Work Out LBs Manti Te’o, Deone Bucannon

The Bears have some veteran linebackers on their radar. They brought in Manti Te’o and Deone Bucannon for workouts on Wednesday, with second-year defender Justin Phillips taking part in the audition as well, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).

While Bucannon has been involved in the 2020 season’s unusual fall workout circuit, this marks Te’o’s first known workout since last season.

Te’o, 29, caught on with the Saints again in 2019, signing in December. He spent parts of three seasons in New Orleans, starting 10 games for the 2017 Saints and playing eight games over the past two seasons. The former Heisman finalist and second-round Chargers pick has made 48 career starts.

A former first-round Cardinals pick, Bucannon played 14 games with the Buccaneers and Giants last season. The former college defensive back made 25 tackles in 2019. The Falcons released him from their practice squad late last month. A 2019 UDFA, Phillips spent last season with the Raiders.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/6/20

Workout updates stand to be sparser going forward, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com noting the NFL has moved to, in light of some teams’ recent issues with the coronavirus, cap workouts at five per week (Twitter link). However, the rule will not apply to teams that place more than three players on IR in a week, Garafolo tweets. In those scenarios, teams would be permitted to work out 10 players in a week. That said, here are the top developments from the workout circuit, as of Tuesday evening.

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/29/20

Here are the Tuesday practice squad decisions:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: DL Joe Graziano

New Orleans Saints

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/9/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad updates here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: T Greg Senat

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Signed: OT Jaryd Jones-Smith

New England Patriots

  • Signed: G Corey Levin
  • Released: FB Paul Quessenberry

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: DE Marcus Willoughby

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Falcons Cut Deone Bucannon

The Falcons released former first-round pick Deone Bucannon, per a club announcement. The move frees up a roster spot for the return of defensive end Steven Means, who has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

[RELATED: Falcons Cut Laquon Treadwell]

Bucannon, 28, signed with the Falcons after spending 2019 with the Buccaneers and Giants. In 14 total games, he saw limited action on defensive snaps. Bucannon was at his best in 2014, his sophomore season as a pro, when he notched 112 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception for the Cardinals. But, at this stage of his career, he profiles as a fringe player.

Means, 29, missed all of 2019 season with an Achilles injury. His 2020 camp was interrupted by his placement on the COVID-19 list, but he’ll serve as defensive end depth for the team now that he has the medical greenlight. Technically speaking, Means is one of eleven defensive ends on the Falcons’ roster, though the team is constructed to mix-and-match across the front seven.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Sign LB Deone Bucannon

The Falcons have signed free agent linebacker Deone Bucannon, the club announced today.

Bucannon, 27, will return to the NFC South after spending part of his 2019 season with the Buccaneers. The former first-round pick signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal with Tampa Bay last offeason, but only appeared in five games before being cut. Bucannon’s play contributed to his release, but the Bucs also enhanced their compensatory pick selections by parting ways with the veteran linebacker.

After leaving the Buccaneers, Bucannon latched on with the Giants. He appeared in nine games down the stretch, and although he played on just eight defensive snaps, he did contribute on special teams (78 snaps). All told, Bucannon has made 57 career starts since being selected 27th overall by the Cardinals in the 2014 draft.

Atlanta lost linebacker De’Vondre Campbell in free agency, leaving Foyesade Oluokun as the most likely option to start next to Deion Jones. Bucannon, with his experience and ability to play multiple roles, should compete with Oluokun for playing time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Ebron, Browns

Let’s take a quick spin around the AFC North:

  • New Steelers tight end Eric Ebron said he still isn’t fully recovered from the ankle injury that forced him to injured reserve as a member of the Colts in 2019, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Ebron hasn’t been able to meet with the Steelers’ medical staff, but an independent doctor did examine his ankle, and Pittsburgh has officially announced its two-year, $12MM deal with the 26-year-old. Ebron, who says he decided to sign with the Steelers largely due to the presence of Ben Roethlisberger, had a public spat with the Colts when he decided to shut things down last November. Now, he’s expected to serve as one of Roethlisberger’s top offensive weapons while splitting time with fellow tight end Vance McDonald.
  • After releasing veteran Mark Barron last month, the Steelers now need to find another inside linebacker to play opposite 2019 first-rounder Devin Bush, as Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes. Vince Williams remains on Pittsburgh’s roster, and general manager Kevin Colbert says he’s “comfortable” with Williams as a starter (as he was in 2017-18 before losing snaps to Barron last season). Sources tell Kaboly the Steelers aren’t interested in Deone Bucannon, who remains on the free agent market, but the club could spend a draft pick on another ‘backer.
  • Free agent addition Jack Conklin is the Browns‘ best offensive tackle by a wide margin, but that doesn’t mean they’ll try to play him on Baker Mayfield‘s blindside in 2020, head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, via conference call on Thursday. Conklin, who inked a three-year $42MM deal with Cleveland after spending four seasons in Tennessee, has played right tackle for nearly all of his career (he’s lined up at left tackle just 68 times since entering the NFL). The Browns are reportedly open to considering Trent Williams (via trade) or free agent Jason Peters at left tackle, but the club could also target the position in the draft, where it holds the 10th overall pick.

Giants Sign Deone Bucannon

The Giants have signed former Cardinals and Buccaneers linebacker Deone Bucannon, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The deal reunites the former first-round pick with James Bettcher, his old friend and defensive coordinator in Arizona.

Bucannon offers some dual-position potential as a safety and, despite the ups and downs of his career, is still only 27. There’s upside here for the G-Men and little risk as this is likely a low-cost deal.

The Bucs also had some hope for Bucannon after inking him to an inexpensive one-year, $2.5MM pact. He didn’t do much to replace Kwon Alexander in his short run, however, and saw just eight snaps through five games.

Last year, Bucannon finished as one of Pro Football Focus’ worst-graded linebackers in a limited sample of 389 snaps. He’s still looking to reprise the 2015 season in which he broke out with 109 tackles, three sacks, and an interception.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Release LB Deone Bucannon

The Buccaneers linebacker Deone Bucannon on Wednesday morning, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. Bucannon was preparing to face the Panthers in London this week, but he’ll now have to shift his focus to finding new employment.

Bucannon, a former first round pick of the Cardinals, might not be out of work for long. He offers some dual-position potential as a safety and, despite the ups and downs of his career, is still only 27.

The Bucs were hoping that Bucannon would pay off on an inexpensive one-year, $2.5MM deal. He did not do much to replace Kwon Alexander in his short run, however, and saw just eight snaps through five games.

Last year, Bucannon finished as one of Pro Football Focus’ worst-graded linebackers in a limited sample of 389 snaps. He’s still looking to reprise the 2015 season in which he broke out with 109 tackles, three sacks, and an interception.

NFC South Notes: Payton, Brees, Quinn

The extension that Saints head coach Sean Payton signed last month is a whopper. Payton was making $9MM per year under his previous contract, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the offensive guru will now be pulling down around $13MM per season. That deal is one of the largest among coaches of North American professional sports, and it obviously will put an end to speculation concerning Payton’s long-term future in the Big Easy.

Now for more from the NFC South, starting with the other face of the Saints:

  • Drew Brees is throwing a football again, as shown on a video that the Saints star posted on Instagram. Brees managed to avoid a trip to the IR, and last week we learned that he is making progress in his recovery from thumb surgery. New Orleans is 2-0 with Brees’ backup, Teddy Bridgewater, at the helm, and the club will try to make that 3-0 against Tampa Bay this afternoon. Previous reports suggested that Brees could return for the club’s November 10 matchup with the Falcons.
  • Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is on the hot seat, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says an Atlanta loss to the Texans today could expedite Quinn’s ouster. After all, a loss would drop the team to 1-4, and with difficult games against the Rams and Seahawks following the Falcons’ matchup with the Cardinals next week, Atlanta could be looking at a 2-6 record after the first half of the season. Atlanta has three former head coaches on its staff — offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, tight ends coach Mike Mularkey, and receivers coach Raheem Morris — and owner Arthur Blank may be thinking about putting one of them in charge to finish out the season if Quinn can’t right the ship immediately.
  • Greg Auman of The Athletic observes that the Buccaneers could be in line for a third-round compensatory pick to offset the loss of Kwon Alexander in free agency and a fourth-rounder to offset the loss of Adam Humphries. As it currently stands, Tampa Bay signed enough outside free agents to negate those compensatory picks, but given that some of those free agents are underperforming (or barely playing), the Bucs could cut them loose prior to Week 9 to put themselves back on track for the compensatory selections. That means that Deone Bucannon, Breshad Perriman, and Bradley Pinion could all be in danger of being cut.